Wednesday's the big day this week. If you only make it out one night, that's the one.
Greg Ward Trio @ Icehouse
Ward’s frequent trips up from Chicago to the Icehouse have generated durable pleasures due to the variety of his ensembles and material, as well as the chances the saxophonist takes from both inside and outside the mainstream. His trio, with Dennis Carroll on bass and Greg Artry on drums, tackles standards the way someone with a good arm throws a boomerang—with great, spacious arcs and reliably neat returns. The quartet Nick’s Cousins plays the night’s second set. 9:30 p.m. $12. 2528 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis. More info here.—Britt Robson
Complete Monday music listings here.
John Pizzarelli Trio @ Dakota Jazz Club
Pizzarelli is easy on the ears—for better and for worse. Fleet and nimble as both vocalist and guitarist, his love of popular song makes him a sensitive and faithful interpreter; most recently he’s concentrated on the work of Paul McCartney and the 50th anniversary of Sinatra’s album with Antonio Carlos Jobim. Pairing him with a glass of fine wine is rarely a bad idea. Pianist Konrad Paszkudzki has capably filled the hole in his trio vacated by the death of Ray Kennedy. 7 and 9 p.m. $25-$45. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis. More info here.—Britt Robson
Complete Tuesday music listings here.
Coheed and Cambria @ Armory
After seven consecutive albums centered on their ambitious Amory Wars concept—the kind of sci-fi saga that tends to inspire especially obsessive fans—New York prog-rockers Coheed and Cambria released the non-conceptual The Color Before the Sun in 2015, where frontman Claudio Sanchez harnessed his pure pop songwriting abilities to bright, explosive results. It may go down as a one-time departure, as the band’s upcoming Vaxis—Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures will be set within The Amory Wars. With Taking Back Sunday. 5:30 p.m. $37. 500 S. 6th St., Minneapolis. More info here.—Michael Madden
My Bloody Valentine @ Palace Theatre
In 2013, infamous perfectionist Kevin Shields and My Bloody Valentine delivered the rarest of comeback albums: a long-awaited follow-up to a masterpiece that actually sounded like growth. MBV, the group’s first album since 1991’s shoegaze landmark, Loveless, recaptured its predecessor’s supremely ambitious, otherworldly sound while proving to be much more than a retread. The band’s current U.S. tour is their first in five years, preceding an EP expected later in 2018. 18+. 7 p.m. $45/$75. 17 7th Pl. W., St. Paul. More info here.—Michael Madden
Scarface @ Cabooze
Scarface has been in a state of semi-retirement for over a decade, reemerging often enough to remind why he’s arguably the quintessential Houston rapper. He published his acclaimed memoir Diary of a Madman in 2015 before returning with his first album in seven years. While Deeply Rooted was oversaturated with guest features (Nas, John Legend, among others), Scarface’s reflective, spiritual lyricism, delivered in his unmistakable drawl, was the real draw. 18+. 9 p.m. $40. 917 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis. More info here.—Michael Madden
The Alarm @ Dakota Jazz Club
The Alarm was among several UK bands to emerge in the early ’80s with a big, blustery sound that juggled punk and urgent folk-rock. The Welsh group’s epic anthems, enormous hooks, ambitious lyrics, and intense energy earned Clash/U2 comparisons, fervid devotees, and derivative-charging skeptics. Singer/guitarist Mike Peters remained the only original member after a ’90s hiatus, and he now leads another revival. The band’s first album of new material in eight years, Equals, rouses with a classically Alarming spirit. Many songs reflect the resilience of Peters and wife/pianist Jules in recovering from serious health issues. 7 p.m. $35-$42. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis. More info here.—Rick Mason
Complete Wednesday music listings here.
Lee Fields & the Expressions @ Amsterdam
Three decades into a career that only funk diehards were truly invested in, this soul man found a home—and a wider audience—on the hip, young New York label Desco Records in the late '90s. (That label later split into two imprints: Soul Fire and Daptone, which became the home of Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley. Fields recorded for both.) Nearly 20 years later, Fields—whose voice, material, and stage presence unmistakably recall James Brown—is going strong, along with his longtime backup crew, the Expressions.21+. 7 p.m. $20/$25. 6 W 6th St, St Paul. More info here.—Keith Harris
Complete Thursday music listings here.